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News & Events
Active Adults Might Want to Trace their Family Roots
Do you know who you are? I mean do you know where you come from? Who were your ancestors? Have you ever wondered about your family story? Maybe now that your house is being cleaned by the service at Westminster Village and you are saving time by eating at the café, you could explore your personal history, your genealogy.
DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid. It’s the hereditary material in the nucleus of our cells. It links us to our ancestors and helps to identify our family story. Everyone now has the opportunity to trace their past through DNA testing. There are several services such as Ancestry, 123 and Me, and My Heritage that are easy and affordable. Most of the websites that offer a DNA sample service also have research data bases for the amateur genealogist. The researcher sends his DNA to the website for a fee and the ancestors are traced through a DNA match with others on their site that have completed a DNA sample test.
I know that my family came primarily from England and Scotland. My grandmother did all the work for me. She traced our genealogy through birth and death records found in county courthouses and with letters to family members all over the country. My father followed in her footsteps and continued the search.
CBS news reports that “genealogy is said to be the second biggest hobby in the United States, right behind gardening. And online, genealogy is the second most-visited website category.”
Maybe on a day trip into town, you could begin your search at the West Lafayette Public Library. Most public libraries have birth, marriage and death records and probably also have a special section just for the storage of any records for the county. The Tippecanoe County Area Genealogical Society also lists links to other records and resources for finding family ancestors.
You can use internet resources on your computer to find databases that also have information for finding your roots. If ancestors came through Ellis Island, their names and original countries may be recorded in a database, too. Families can share information and pictures through genealogical social networking sites. Other websites include military records, international information and tools for learning more about genealogy and finding your family.
Be prepared for what your search my reveal. My father swears that my grandmother stopped researching part of our family tree when she found out that we had a horse thief in our lineage. Despite that, the research and the meeting and talking with others about the family was a great hobby that she enjoyed. Your time could well be spent in finding wonderful surprises about your ancestors. And you might find information that you can share with others who are also researching the same line.
All in all you might be very surprised to find out that you are connected to people near and far that you never expected.
-Elaine of the Westminster Village Blog Team